Author Topic: How fast do you ride?  (Read 10166 times)

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Offline gregmcg

How fast do you ride?
« on: August 09, 2005, 05:47:50 pm »
I'm new to all of this cycling. I have been riding for two years, 52 yrs old. I ride between 25 and 40 miles each ride, about 3 to 6 times a week. I think I'am riding along at a decent speed, but there always seems to be someone zipping right by me. I'm trying to gear up to a tour next year, but I'am wondering how fast they ride on them. I can do the milage, but my best average speed for a 40 mile ride is 14.5 mph. Will I be able to hang in there or should I quit dreaming?

Offline TheDaltonBoys

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 06:42:28 pm »
The first long ride (touring) that I did was with my brothers on the KATY RailTrail and towards the end we started to encounter recreational riders from St. Louis going out and back 10 or 20 miles. We were pulling BoB's w/cargo and we were ovetaking them at 14 mph and we felt we were flying....then I realized it was a tour, not a race. Touring to me is about touring, fast or slow and the proper speed is what your body can handle and that's all. Like a training regimen I read said "...get in a group where you feel strong not one where you are trying to always keep up". Remember the thought that its about enjoying the voyage, not suffering during the voyage. Enjoy the voyage....Mark of the Dalton Boys (55 years young)

Offline alh

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2005, 11:27:54 pm »
A good rule of thumb for planning a day is that you will average 8 miles per hour over the day. This includes lunch, snacks, sightseeing and bun breaks. If you start by 8, ride till 5, you can go about 70 miles.

I just finished a two week trip in the Canadian Rockies; the highest daily average speed I saw was 10 mph. The idea is to learn to pace yourself, and arrive at the end of the day with the energy needed to set up camp, make the meal, and enjoy yourself.


Offline Dan_E_Boye

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2005, 02:41:41 am »
I'm a pokey 'bent rider.  At first I worried about my speed but I finally realized what others have said.  The point is to enjoy the ride, at least for me.  I average about 10 m.p.h. including breaks.  I am debating whether or not to get a computer.  My hesitation is because I don't want to become a slave to the numbers.  Ride at your own pace.  When you get tired, rest.

Offline driftlessregion

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2005, 10:23:35 pm »
I recommend Fred Matheny's Complete Book of Road Bike Training available from  In it he lays out training plans even for us tourists. One of the things he says is if you train at XX mph that is what you will be good at. If you want to ride faster, you have to train at some faster speeds. Be careful of overtraining if you're doing 6 rides a week. I'm 53 so understand where you're coming from. I rode with a 70 year old on a tour last year for several weeks and our experience was 10 mph overall; 70 miles, 7 hours. 14.5 is pretty good for loaded touring anyway.  Having fun is the main thing!

Offline happyare

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2005, 10:00:50 pm »
I just ride to and from school about a mile each way. I have so little time during the school year that I can't do anything more. I averave about 17 k.p.h. due to all the traffic. During the Great Western Bicycle Rally I can easily do at least 40 miles a day. I've never tested the limit, though.

that crazy teenager,
Hapward Weird Annoying Dandelion I. Are
that crazy teenager,
Hapward Weird Annoying Dandelion I. Are

Offline Mentor58

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2005, 01:09:06 pm »
One thing that I have too keep in mind when touring is that I can't afford to blow my legs up on a tour the way I can when I'm training.  Wheeling the fully loaded touring bike is different than the roadie on the sub 20 pound machine.  I find that I average about 60-70 miles per day, speed wise that's about 11-12 mph on the bike, but can vary due to terrain, wind, number of pretty girls in the area.  

I don't think about speed as such while riding, I think more in terms of distance per day, or how many hours I plan on riding any given day.  Some folks like the heads down multiple 100+ mile days, ride for all they've got mode.  I'm more of a 'noodler, see the sights, refuel often, cover 60 or so miles a day without feeling like I'm overworked at all.

Steve W

Offline DaveB

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2005, 09:16:49 pm »
If there is one general rule of bicycle riding it is: "there will always be riders faster than you and there will always be riders slower than you."  

Ride comfortably and don't agonize over your average speed.  Big tours attract riders with a wide variety of abilities and you are certain to find a group to ride with.  

An alternative is to ride by yourself at your pace and get there when you get there.  There is absolutely no shame in this and you might enjoy yourself even more.  

Offline biker_james

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2005, 08:28:16 am »
I think you will find that you and your bike will set the speed when you're touring, not what you THINK you should do. It's really hard to "kick it up" by a few miles an hour because someone else said they can ride that fast. The aerodynamics of a loaded touring bike are not great, and the weight limits those fast accelerations, etc.. Even if you go all out, and keep this mythical speed, you may be just about dead at the end of the day and unable to enjoy yourself, or juast about dead BEFORE the end of the day, when you find a major hill or headwind on your way to camp. When I ride at my own pace, I am quite comfy riding an extra half hour or hour or whatever as necessary to get to my goal.
My wife and I usually figure about 20km/h when touring, and a realistic daily distance of about 100km (about 60 miles).  On our holidays this year our days ranged from doing 65 km in 6hours into a massive headwind(possibly the hardest ride I've ever done) to one day we clocked in at 159km in about 8.5 hours.

Offline Badger

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2005, 09:23:04 pm »
On large rides if you are behind everyone you can pick up all sorts of water bottles, gloves, and half eaten energy bars.

Offline Roubaix

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2005, 10:42:07 am »
Never worry about my speed or avg speed. I ride by my cadence,keeping it above 90.

Offline smcbikefun

How fast do you ride?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2005, 05:48:37 pm »
I used to be concerned with "slowing down" the others.  I find that I now enjoy riding at my own pace (10-12 mph average).  I get into camp a little later than others but I have seen so much more.  If I wanted to get from point A to point B without seeing anything, I would drive.